May 19th, 2005

Friday, May 20

Panel 1: Sigh. Another misused word. A schlimazel is the ultimate loser: someone who can't buy himself a break. The most common definition is "A schlemiel goes through life spilling soup. A schlimazel is the guy he spills it on." It appears that Lynn thinks the word applies to a situation, not a person; I don't see which person it could apply to here. Not Lovey: she has the power to evict. Not either of the Seaweeds: they haven't displayed any loser qualities. Not any of the Pattersons: they have Lovey on their side, as someone pointed out yesterday.

And while it is a good thing that the Pattersons are discussing this with Lovey, they're still not going about it the right way. A, they should have done this instead of putting down the dividing line, and B, they should have asked the Seaweeds to accompany them to Lovey's apartment, so both sides could present their case at the same time. This is just a case of running to a substitute Mommy. Now Lovey won't be inclined to look at the situation from any point of view except Mike and Dee's.

And I love how the extent of the Seaweeds' reaction, that we were shown, was Melville saying, "I object!" So Mike gets the last word, and the implication is that he was reasonable.

Panel 2: Well, all right. Now we know for sure that the Seaweeds knew going in that there would be children in the house.

Panel 3: Now this is where it really breaks down. I can understand the Pattersons' frustration if this has been going on for days. But we have not been given any indication that the timeline is anything other than:

Evening of Day 1: Bed squeaks, Seaweeds bang on ceiling.

Morning of Day 2: Mike tells Merrie they have to be quiet as little mice.

Morning or afternoon of Day 2: Mme. Seaweed knocks on Lovey's door. Merrie falls down stairs, taken to hospital, returns with cast.

Evening of Day 2: Mme. Seaweed knocks on Pattersons' door, asks after Merrie, requests removal of trike and stroller.

Evening of Day 2: Mike draws the line, physically.

Evening of Day 2: Conference with Lovey.

There's just no indication that enough time has gone by to establish a pattern of the Seaweeds complaining. It may be clear to Lynn, but it's not clear to the reader. I think a large part of the problem is one that has been remarked upon before: Lynn has too many storylines, and therefore can't intercut in order to give a sense of time elapsing between plot points.

Panel 4: Oh, Deanna hates to fight. But she's okay with her husband performing an action that is all but guaranteed to provoke their neighbors further. Even if this has been going on for weeks, and even if the Seaweeds have shown over and over that they're not willing to cut the Pattersons any slack, that tape-line thing is still the equivalent of saying, "You wanna fight? Okay, let's fight!"

And Lovey IS willing to fight. But...doesn't she know about the tape line? She's okay with Mike messing up her carpet? And beyond that, she wants to fight rather than mediate? Man, I'm glad I don't live in the FOOBiverse!